Feature photo taken front row from the audience of a band on stage mid-performance at one of The Wild Honey Pie PIzza Parties. A guyitar player in a white t-shirt is standing to the right, the lead singer is in blue jeans and a gray t-shirt and is playing guitar and singing into the mic in the middle, the drummer is in the back center and the keyboardist is on the left of the stage in blue overalls playing a black keyboard.

The Wild Honey Pie: The Whalebone Interview

Food and music lovers unite

Words by Samantha Kirschberg

In 2009, The Wild Honey Pie was founded by Eric Weiner and it started as a good ‘ole music blog. Since then, Eric has transformed the company into a creative agency that works to connect brands, musicians, artists and fans — creating a community. Through the years, The Wild Honey Pie has produced some amazing events and series including Welcome Campers, a music festival meets adult summer camp, Pizza Parties around the country, an On The Boat video series that takes place at festivals including Newport Folk Festival, an On The Mountain series which hosts live performances at a snowy mountain location and more. 

TWHP events bring together delicious food, new beverages to taste and, of course, live music. And while doing that, they help promote their brand partners effortlessly weaving them into experiential events and digital content like the Family Meal series. Both music and food have a way of connecting people and bringing them together to experience joy. We all have moments when our senses come alive whether it was a dish that made our taste buds sing or a concert that gave us all the feels. Pairing food and music just makes sense.

Bringing musicians and artists to life in different ways, Eric and the team have created animated and live-action music videos, short-form content, concert posters, merch design and more. Just some name-dropping, The Wild Honey Pie has made music videos for St. Lucia, Dan Croll, Jenny Owen Youngs and Jason Mraz, tour posters for Wet Leg, Death Cab for Cutie and Outside Lands, and merch for Noah Kahan and BLÜ EYES. With these projects, the company has also featured an array of talented animators, artists and restaurants that get to showcase their art and food in a new, unique way.

With Whalebone’s recent initiatives and issues revolving around music, pizza and snow, chatting with Eric was a no-brainer.

Sam Kirschberg: How has it been transitioning from a music blog to a creative agency that partners with brands to allow them to connect with the power of music?

Eric Weiner: The transition has been really empowering. Since 2020, when we really put our flag down and made the change public, we’ve been able to increase our artist budgets on average by 600 percent, double our budgets for chefs at our Dinner Parties, increase pay for our team members and eliminate our unpaid intern program. This all speaks in part to how much we were barebones before, but more so to our ability to produce projects the right way with the help of our brand partners.

Photo of a man wearing a green button down and brown khakis singing on stage into a mic with a light brown acoustic guitar in his arms at a WHP Dinner Party. A large yellow banner lined with red and with red lettering that reads "TOPO CHICO & THE WILD HONEY PIE ARE PROUD TO PRESENT" is hanging behind him Large crystal chandeliers with yellow lights are hanging along the sealing and tables of people seated in brown and wicker wood chairs are sitting and watching the singer on stage.
Photo by Farrah Skeiky, Tina Chiou & Eric Luck of a TWHP Dinner Party
Photo taken at a WHP Dinner Party of a group of people sitting at a dark brown wooden table. A man and a woman at the table are clinking the necks of their clear Top Chico bottles with bright yellow and red labels together. The table is filled with half-filled and empty bottles of Topo Chico and a large green tree is behind the group of people sitting on the left side of the table.
Photo by Farrah Skeiky, Tina Chiou & Eric Luck of a TWHP Dinner Party

SK: Name a partnership or series that you’re most proud of.

EW: I couldn’t be more excited about what we’re doing with Topo Chico. In 2023 alone, we produced 10 projects together. This encompassed our Dinner Party series in six cities across the country, as well as our Pizza Parties upstate and our longstanding video series, Buzzsessions. From a marketing perspective, we were able to fulfill multiple millions of impressions for Topo, but even more importantly, these were impressions for the artists first and foremost. Opportunities for The Wild Honey Pie to stick to our primary function since we launched in 2009, which is to help spread the word about the musicians we love. We worked with Zella Day, TOLEDO, Shannon Lay, Salt Cathedral, Flock of Dimes, Declan McKenna and more artists that we’ve loved for so long and were able to put our spotlight directly on their music. This partnership was of course about the experiences themselves, but equally about the music videos we captured at each event. These videos give fans the opportunity to get a front-row seat to the action at these intimate events, which in the case of Dinner Parties, are typically limited to just 50 or 60 attendees.

SK: Since The Wild Honey Pie was created, you’ve worked with over 1,000 artists — does one stick out in your memory that made your heart full or gave you the chills?

EW: I’ll always cherish all the times I worked with Kishi Bashi. He’s my number-one artist of all time and even performed at my wedding last year. It all started before his debut record came out in 2012 when we recorded a Buzzsession in Greenpoint where a massive condo now stands. Back then it was a band practice space, and we took over and projected manipulated video from the movie Tree of Life on K. I just remember sitting there on the floor recording the audio and tearing up — here was my favorite artist at the time, performing for me and three of my co-workers. Those videos now have close to 700,000 views on YouTube. Hoping we get to do it again sometime.

Photo of a singer standing on stage in a light brown sweater, a red jacket, black pants and a rainbow-striped beanie. He is holding the mic cord in his left hand and the mic itself in his right hand while looking out into the audience. The guitar player of the band is in the background with his body turned to the side, partially obstructed by the singer. He has his white guitar in his hands and is wearing a retro-colored bright purple, pink and turquoise green paneled jacket paired with glasses and a bright orange beanie. Small twinkle light are lining the red pillars in the surrounding room.
Photo of a TWHP On The Mountain series event
Photo of a person in a full-body black bear costume covered in snow at one of the WHP On The Mountain series events. The person in the bear suit is standing on the top of a white snow-covered ski hill and wearing bright pink and green snow goggles across the bear costume eyes and a light orange scarf while fake punching towards the camera. The person is also wearing black "On The Mountain" t-shirt with orange, blue and pink lettering forming a circle in the center.
Photo of a TWHP On The Mountain series event

SK: And to go off that question — any bands or artists that have been on your dream list that you’d love to collaborate with in some way?

EW: Well I’m a big Death Cab for Cutie fan, seeing them and The Postal Service this year was a dream, and that kind of show would literally explode minds at one of our Pizza Parties. I also hope I have the chance to work with Band of Horses, Sufjan Stevens, Joanna Newsom, Bon Iver, Phoebe Bridgers, Vampire Weekend and Solange.

Photo of a man and a woman standing next to each other at a WHP Pizza Party event. Both people are dressed up in costumes. The man wearing a pizza server costume covered in red blood (a red check apron, jeans, white t-shirt and an orange baseball cap). The woman is wearing a partially sheer, high-neck, long-sleeved wedding dress splattered with blood and her face is painted with makeup to look bruised and zombie-like. A large shiny disco is hanging on the left of the photo from the twinkle light-lined ceiling. Both the man and the woman are drinking cans of Olipop soda, the man with a red can and the woman with a white can.
Photo by Emilio Herce & Kiki Vassilakis of a TWHP Pizza Party
Photo taken from the crowd of the lead singer of a band at a WHP Pizza Party. The singer himself is framed by the shadows of two people in the crowd in front of the camera. The singer, who appears to be sitting on a stool, is holding a light brown wooden electric acoustic guitar and looking down at his hands while singing into the microphone as he plays. He is dressed up in a costume that consists of silver metallic pants, a black leather jacket, a white tank top and face makeup that makes his face look pale white, bloody and bruised. His hair is jet black. A large white sign with a green border that has the words "THE WILD HONEY PIE AND RADIO WOODSTOCK PIZZA PARTIES" in red lettering is hanging behind him.
Photo by Emilio Herce & Kiki Vassilakis of a TWHP Pizza Party

SK: You’ve thrown Dinner and Pizza Parties in New York City, Upstate New York, Austin, Seattle, Los Angeles, Boston and so many other places. Is there a location you’d love to bring a TWHP event to? Outside of the States maybe?

EW: I still have Miami on my wish list stateside. Chicago would be great too, so many great restaurants. I think with the Dinner Parties, one of my ambitions is to bring this experience to London, Montreal and Mexico City. There’s so much great music and food in these towns and I think folks there would love what we’re doing.

SK: Whalebone has created The Sunday Morning Playlists on Spotify — all about slowing down, going on adventures and toe-tapping songs to make your Sunday a bit better. Any songs that you’d add to The Sunday Morning Playlist?

EW: Love this! I’d definitely add “Lost in My Dream” by Drugdealer.

SK: What are the top three bands or artists in your current rotation?

EW: Sufjan Stevens, The Japanese House and Fruit Bats

SK: I love That Thing You Do and Almost Famous — What is your favorite music movie?

EW: You took two of my favorites already, shoot. That Thing You Do really is my favorite music movie. Living in Woodstock, I have a newfound appreciation for The Last Waltz, about The Band. Maybe it’s cheating but I think I’m going to choose a musical, that counts right? I’ve always loved the music from Les Misérables and Hugh Jackman is the ultimate Jean Valjean. I saw him in Music Man last year, too.

SK: What’s coming up in 2024 that you’re most excited about and want people to see or attend?

EW: There’s a lot happening in our world right now that I want to share, but our primary focus is giving more people the opportunity to participate in our Dinner Parties and Pizza Parties. These events offer distinct and expansive experiences. For us, fostering a sense of community and introducing music fans to entirely new adventures is at the heart of what we do. We’re excited about the big plans we have for both of these projects and upcoming launches in new cities.

Follow along for cool events, videos and more @thewildhoneypie